Considering getting a new dog or cat?
A new puppy or kitten is a welcomed celebration in the clinic. It’s always exciting to aid and guide new owners along the path of responsible pet ownership. Whether this is your first pet or a new addition to the household bringing a kitten or puppy home takes some careful considerations and diligent work to make sure it’s a smooth transition for the pet and for yourself. Hopefully these tips will help you get started when adopting a pet of any age. My personal recommendation would be to adopt from a rescue group, animal shelter or humane society but first keep these few things in mind:
Talk to your veterinarian first.
I think one of the most underutilized services in the veterinary field is consultation with a veterinarian BEFORE adoption. There are an assortment of varying animal personality types in the both felines and canines. A veterinarian can assist you in narrowing down decisions to those types of breeds that will fit your lifestyle. I prefer local animal adoption but even in those situations getting insight from a professional will help you decide if a new pet will be a forever match.
After your vet consultation you should have a pretty good idea of the type of pet you will be adopting. Make sure your home is hazard free to keep your pet safe. Adopting a kitten? Be aware of areas they may be able to get into, inside the couch or into cabinets and behind appliances. Bringing home a new puppy? Provide a safe area for potty training. Remove anything you don’t want your puppy to chew on. Adopting an older dog or cat? Eliminate any possible toxic elements in your home like plants or access to sugar free foods and household goods containing the common artificial sweetener xylitol. Knowing and eliminating the potential hazards in your home is the best way to prevent emergencies.
Are you ready?
Most importantly be ready to commit for the life of your pet. Pet companionship is incredibly rewarding. I cannot stress enough the importance of deliberate contemplation of the many different facets of pet ownership. The basic attention requirements, exercise needs, feeding and walking schedules, veterinary costs, feeding costs, possible emergencies or disease. To reiterate talking to your veterinarian first will help you decide if you’re ready and it will better prepare you to make the right choice.